HALBLEIB, owning a farm of two hundred and forty-two
acres, situated on section 11, Hennepin township, was born in
Bavaria, Germany, October 11, 1828. His parents, Casper and Ann
Elizabeth (KEMP) HALBLEIB, emigrated from Germany to the United
States in 1837. Landing in New York they made their way at once
to Illinois, going to Dorchester on the first steamer Pioneer
that plied on the Illinois river. From there they drove across
the country to Peru, this being previous to the era of railroad
transportation. The father entered a tract of land near Peru,
and in order to secure ready money with which to provide for his
family, he split rails during the winter, and the year following
their arrival in this state he went to La Salle, where he
secured work on the construction of the Illinois and Michigan
canal. Returning to his home he passed away in August, 1838, so
that he was not long permitted to enjoy his new home in the
United States. After the father's death the mother was again
married, her second union being with Joseph REGINOLD, who owned
the farm which is the present home of our subject. Here the
mother passed away March 12, 1849.
After the death of his father Otto HALBLEIB remained with his mother until after her marriage to Mr. REGINOLD, when he went to work on a farm, being employed by the month, and during the winter seasons he attended the district schools, being thus engaged until after he had attained his majority. Starting out in life on his own account he first purchased a tract of forty acres of land, which belonged to his step-father, and which is a part of his present possessions. He engaged in general agricultural pursuits, and, meeting with success in his undertakings, was from time to time enabled to add to his original purchase until he now owns two hundred and forty-two acres. He has also aided his sons in purchasing farms or establishing themselves in business. In addition to his farming interests, Mr. HALBLEIB was also at one time the owner of quite an extensive apiary but at the present time has only fifty hives and soon expects to abandon that pursuit. He has found this a profitable source of income, for the products of his apiary always find a ready sale on the market, owing to the excellent quality. He has frequently made exhibits of his honey at the various fairs, where he has been awarded many premiums. He has also grown apples to quite an extent and has been instrumental in grafting and propagating several fine varieties, and he has exhibited the products of his orchard at different fairs where he has received many premiums. His various pursuits have been carefully managed, so that his labors have brought the best possible results, and he is today numbered among the well-to-do citizens of Putnam county.
On the 1st of January, 1852, Mr. HALBLEIB was united in marriage to Miss Catherine HARTENBOWER, also a native of Germany, where her birth occurred October 2, 1834. Her parents, Christian and Catherine (SNYDER) HARTENBOWER, emigrated to the new world in 1838. The father was a shoemaker by trade following that business in his native land, and he continued his operations along that line after his removal to this country. The family remained in New York for a time and later made their way to Putnam county, Illinois, where both the father and mother passed away. Unto our subject and his wife have been born nine children, of whom one is now deceased: Victoria, the eldest, has acted as housekeeper for R. E. HILLS, at Henry, for many years; Adam, who is a farmer of Magnolia township; John, a farmer of Hennepin township; George, a resident of Henry; Frank, who was drowned in the Illinois river when he was twenty-three years of age; Clara, the wife of Eli WRIGHT, a barber of Henry; Casper, also of Henry; Annie, the wife of George THEIL, of Hennepin township; and William, who is at home.
Mr. HALBLEIB was raised in the Catholic faith but is not now identified with any denomination, but is independent in his belief. He is independent in politics with democratic tendencies, but usually casts his vote for the men whom he thinks best qualified for office without regard to party affiliation. He has served as school director for many years but aside from this has never been active in public office. He is one of the oldest settlers in Putnam county and is thoroughly familiar with the pioneer conditions which existed when he first came to the state. He has aided in many movements for the progress and upbuilding of his county and has been especially interested in the agricultural development of this section of the state. He and his wife are hale and hearty old people and are duly classed with the highly respected German citizens of this community.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.